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Just east of the affluent Highland Park, a residential enclave in Dallas, there is a retail section called Knox Street, seven blocks of interesting restaurants, condos, shops and the recently expanded Apple Store.

Father Walking Child in StrollerIt is not uncommon on spring and fall afternoons to see couples walking from nearby Highland Park with children in tow, pushing very expensive baby carriages, heading for lunch or perhaps a visit to Froggies, an eclectic toy store just down the street from Wild About Harry’s with its hotdogs and frozen custards.  Some of the husbands are much older—mid to late 50s with wives in their late 20s or early 30s.  Based on their attire and the quality of the typical baby carriage, money is of no concern to these families.   These husbands are what we call hyper achievers.

While some people will simply explain this phenomenon as a “trophy wife”, I have another theory.  Driven, highly successful men achieved their success because they would not accept defeat, regardless of the cost—they neglected their families.  When they finally discovered there is something called “life balance” it was too late.  They could not recover from the alienation and indifference.

Some of these men then succumbed to another powerful drive:  to get it right.  They didn’t marry a trophy wife, they married a woman to whom they were attracted in a vain attempt to correct this massive failure.  They want to get it right—being a man successful in marriage and success as a great father. 

Just call it a mulligan.  Sad but true.

© 2012 John Gregory Self